THE IMPORTANCE OF TUNING YOUR GUITAR

TUNING A GUITAR IS KIND OF TRICKY IF YOU ARE A BEGINNER, AND I HAVE SEEN MANY MUSICIANS OVERLOOK THIS VERY IMPORTANT FACTOR. IF YOU ARE PLAYING IN A BAND IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT THAT ALL MEMBERS OF THE BAND TUNE UP THERE STRINGED INSTRUMENTS BEFORE AND FREQUENTLY THROUGHOUT THE PERFORMANCE.

YOU SEE, STRINGED INSTRUMENTS CAN EASILY GET OUT OF TUNE BECAUSE OF THE TEMPERATURE IN THE ROOM. WHEN IT HEATS UP THE STRINGS "GET LOOSER" AND THE PITCH GOES DOWN. IF YOU HAVE JUST BROUGHT YOUR GUITAR INTO A ROOM FROM A VEHICLE THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE IT IS OUT OF TUNE. THIS IS A BIG ISSUE IF YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY ALONG WITH A PRE-RECORDED "JAM TRACK" OR IF YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY ALONG WITH AN ELECTRONIC KEYBOARD (KEYBOARDS ARE ALWAYS IN TUNE UNLESS YOU PURPOSELY CHANGE ITS PITCH).

NOTHING IS MORE TORTURE THAN TO LISTEN TO A BAND THAT IS OUT OF TUNE. BELIEVE ME I HAVE SEEN MANY ON AT OPEN MIC NIGHTS. ALSO ONE THING THAT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU IS THAT DRUM SETS MUST ALSO BE TUNED. THIS IS A COMMONLY OVERLOOKED FACTOR IN SOUNDING PROFESSIONAL.

THE BEST WAY IS TO USE A GOOD ELECTRONIC TUNER THAT HAS THE FEATURE OF CONSTANTLY SHOWING THE PITCH OF THE NOTE BEING TUNED. SOME TUNERSONLY TEMPORARILY SHOW THE PITCH AND ARE ANNOYING. THE ANNOYING ONE I HAVE COST ABOUT $20 AND MY GOOD ONE COST ME $100.


PERFECTLY TUNING YOUR GUITAR
FOR THE FIRST TIME




SMALL STRING--------------------------E------------------ENERGY
------------------------------------B----------------BODY
--------------------------------G--------------GOOD
----------------------------D------------DAILY
------------------------A---------APPLES
BIG STRING----------E--------EAT



------------EAT, APPLES, DAILY, = GOOD, BODY, ENERGY-----------





NOTE:YOU WILL NEED AN ELECTRONIC TUNER TO PERFECTLY TUNE YOUR GUITAR.

NOTE: IF YOU HAVE A CHEAP GUITAR WITH A WARPED NECK, OR IF THE IN-TUNATION IS OUT, THEN YOUR GUITAR DOESN'T NEED TO BE PERFECTLY TUNED--JUST GET IT CLOSE. TO TELL IF THE IN-TUNATION IS OK, WHEN YOU PLAY A PERFECTLY TUNED OPEN STRING, YOU SHOULD GET THE SAME PERFECTLY TUNED NOTE (ONE OCTAVE HIGHER) WHEN PLAY THAT STRING ON THE 12th FRET.

THE PROPER WAY TO ADJUST THE STRINGS IS TO SLIGHTLY LOWER THE PITCH AND THEN SLOWLY RAISE IT TO THE PROPER PITCH. REMEMBER: WHEN YOU CHANGE THE PITCH OF ONE STRING, YOU ARE CHANGING THE PITCH OF ALL OF THEM, BECAUSE EACH ONE IS PULLING ON THE NECK OF THE GUITAR, SO TIGHTENING ONE STRING LOOSENS ALL THE OTHER STRINGS, AND VICE VERSA. ALSO THE BIGGER THE ONES HAVE MORE PULL THAN THE LITTLE ONES (KIND OF LIKE POLITITIONS).

STEP #1 -- DO A CHECK OF ALL OF YOUR STRINGS FIRST. IT IS EASY TO BUMP ONE OF THE TUNING KNOBS WHEN STORING OR MOVING YOUR GUITAR. CORRECT ANY THAT ARE WAY OUT FIRST.

STEP #2 -- CORRECT ANY STRINGS THAT ARE TOO LOW IN PITCH. RAISE THEM UP. TUNE YOUR BIGGEST STRINGS FIRST. THE BIGGER THE STRING, THE MORE "PULL" IT WILL HAVE ON THE NECK OF THE GUITAR. SO YOU WANT TO START WITH THE BIGGER STRINGS FIRST. IF THE PITCH IS TOO LOW SLOWLY RAISE IT TO THE PROPER PITCH. (ACTUALLY ADJUST IT TO SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN THE DESIRED PITCH) YOU WILL ONLY NEED TO GET THEM CLOSE AT FIRST.

STEP #3 --- CHECK, CHECK, AND RECHECK ALL STRINGS, ADJUSTING THEM ALL TO SIGHTLY LOWER THAN THEY NEED TO BE.

STEP #4 -- START WITH THE BIG STRING AND RAISE IT TO THE RIGHT PITCH. THEN SECOND BIGGEST, THEN THIRD BIGGEST, AND SO ON. BE EXTREMELY CAREFULL TO NOT GO HIGHER THAN THE RIGHT PITCH. IF YOU DO GO HIGHER, YOU CAN SLIGHTLY STRETCH THE STRING WITH YOUR RIGHT HAND BY SLIGHTLY PULLING UP ON THE STRING AND STRETCHING IT OUT A LITTLE, AND THIS WILL LOWER THE PITCH. IF THAT DOESN'T DO THE TRICK LOWER IT DOWN AND RAISE IT UP TO THE RIGHT PITCH. THEN REPEAT THIS PROCCES WITH EACH STRING UNTIL ALL STRINGS ARE PERFECTLY IN TUNE. (THIS MIGHT TAKE A FEW MINUTES).

STEP #5 --CHECK TO MAKE SURE ALL STRINGS ARE THE EXACTLY THE CORRECT PITCH. IF YOU ADJUST ANY ONE STRING, THEN YOU MUST RE-CHECK ALL OF THEM. KEEP YOUR GUITAR IN TUNE. TUNE IT OFTEN AND IT WILL GET USED TO STAYING IN TUNE AS LONG AS IT STAYS THE SAME TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY. ALSO MORE EXPENSIVE GUITARS STAY IN TUNE BETTER THAN CHEAP GUITARS.

STEP #6 --PLAY EACH STRING ON THE 12th FRET. CHECK TO SEE IF THE NOTE BEING PLAYED IS PERFECTLY IN TUNE. THIS IS CALLED IN-TUNATION. NOTE:THE PITCH WILL SLIGHTLY VARY DEPENDING ON HOW HARD YOU PRESS ON THE STRING. THIS WILL PROBABLY NOT BE EXACT, BUT IT SHOULD BE REAL CLOSE.IF IT IS NOT THEN THE IN-TUNATION IS OUT.


WHAT IF THE IN-TUNATION IS OUT?

THIS CAN BE A RESULT FROM CHANGING FROM REALLY HEAVY TO REALLY LIGHT GUAGE STRINGS,VICE VERSA, OR IT COULD BE THAT YOUR NECK IS WARPED OR NEEDS ADJUSTMENT. IF YOUR NECK NEEDS ADJUSTMENT YOU NEED TO SEE A CHIROPRACTOR AND GET IT PUT BACK INTO PLACE (JUST KIDDING). IF YOUR NECK NEEDS ADJUSTMENT IT SHOULD PROBABLY BE WORKED ON BY A PROFESSIONAL. I TRIED ADJUSTING MY GUITAR ONCE AND GOT IT ALL OUT OF WHACK AND HAD TO TAKE IT TO THE SHOP. IT COST ME AROUND $70 TO GET THE INTUNATION ADJUSTED AND I'M NOT SURE THEY DID A WHOLE LOT. IF ITS NOT OUT BAD, THEN DON'T MESS WITH IT. IF YOU ARE IN A PROFFESSIONAL BAND OR PLAYING IN PUBLIC, YOU WILL PROBABLY WANT TO KEEP IT IN TOP SHAPE, AND THEN IT MIGHT BE WORTH IT.


WARPED NECK?

IF THE INTUNATION IS OUT BECAUSE OF A WARPED NECK, SOMETIMES IT IS UNFIXABLE. I KNOW, SOME OF YOU READING THIS MIGHT START CRYING, I KNOW I BOUGHT A GUITAR WITH A WARPED NECK BEFORE I KNEW WHAT TO LOOK FOR AT A FLEA MARKET, AND DID'T NOTICE IT UNTIL MONTHS LATER. LUCKILY IT WAS ONLY $20. I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF GUITARS AT PAWN SHOPS WITH WARPED NECKS. IF YOU DON'T KNOW A LOT ABOUT GUITARS, I WOULD NOT BUY ONE FROM ANYWHERE BUT A TRUSTWORTHY SOURCE, OR BRING ALONG AN EXPERIENCED GUITARIST THAT KNOWS WHAT MAKES A GOOD GUITAR. ALSO CERTAIN BRAND NAMES WILL BE BETTER THAN OTHERS, BUT EVEN THE BEST CAN GET DAMAGED FROM LEAVING THEM IN A CAR OR DROPPING THEM.

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